Comcast Is Getting Close to Offering Internet TV Service

May 15, 2017

Amid rising competition from Internet TV packages, Comcast is getting close to offering its own online video offering, and it sounds like it might be even more appealing than what's already available.

Expected to be called Xfinity Instant TV, the package will include local broadcast channels, an unnamed premium channel, and DVR capabilities for $15 per month for customers of Comcast's home Internet service, Matt Strauss, the head of the company's cable service, said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. Additional packages of cable TV channels will be available for additional charge, he said.

"If you want to add on top of that, skinny packages like a sports and news pack or kids and family pack or a TV and entertainment pack, you'll have the ability to do that," Strauss explained to the newspaper.

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The offering sounds much like Dish Network's (dish) Sling TV, AT&T's (t) DirecTV Now, or Sony's (sne) Playstation Vue—but starting at a lower price and possibly with more flexibility. But Xfinity Instant TV will not be available all over the country or for people who do not subscriber to Comcast Internet service.

"We are not focused on delivering a national over-the-top service," Strauss said. "We're very focused on delivering products and services within the markets that we serve today, like Chicago."

The move by the nation's largest cable TV service comes as the number of people dropping cable service, known as cord cutters, combined with those who never signing up in the first place, is at all-time high. Internet TV services, which stream video over the Internet and don't require a classic cable set top box, have been filling the gap for consumers who prefer services like Netflix (nflx), Hulu, and Amazon's (amzn) Prime Video.

But Comcast (cmcsa) itself hasn't suffered much from cord cutting, at least not yet. The company added 98,000 net new residential cable TV customers over the 12 months ended March 31. At the same time, Comcast added 1.2 million new residential Internet customers.

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